Tommy Murphy Semifinal – Reports
Antrim and Wicklow secured wins in Saturdays Tommy Murphy Cup semi-finals to set up a final showdown in Croke Park next week.
The final will be repeat of the 2007 decider, when Wicklow captured the title in a thrilling game.
Wicklow will be back defending their Tommy Murphy Cup title when the final is played next weekend.
The Garden County men booked their place in the decider at Aughrim on Saturday when they beat Leitrim by three points after a terrific battle that saw the teams level on eight occasions over the 70 minutes.
Tommy Murphy Cup Semi-Final: Wicklow 0-15 Leitrim 0-12
The teams were deadlocked for the eighth time with just eight minutes left on the clock but Wicklow finished the stronger with a brace of points by ace-free-taker Tony Hannon and a single from wing-back LeightonÓglynn to clinch victory.
Centre-forward Tony Hannon was involved in a shooting duel with Leitrims number 11, Emlyn Mulligan, who lined out at corner-forward, and Wicklow won that battle also, with Hannon finishing with a grand total of eight points – seven from frees – compared with Mulligans haul of six for Leitrim.
Wicklow also had big performances from midfielder Thomas Walsh, hyperactive wing-backs LeightonÓglynn and Rory Nolan, with corner-back Alan Byrne also having every reason to be pleased with his display.
Corner forward Ciaran Walsh had the opening point for Wicklow in the first minute and it was point for point for the next 20 minutes, with the sides level on four occasions and the score standing at 0-4 each.
Noel Doonan was winning a lot of midfield ball for Leitrim and they moved into a two points lead with scores from wing-forward Colin Regan and Mulligan before ending the half 0-8 to 0-7 in front.
Tony Hannon pointed Wicklow back level immediately after the restart and the teams were again tied at 0-9 and 0-12, with Leitrim wiping out a three point lead for the home side with scores from Mulligan [two frees] and midfielder Doonan.
Wicklow finished the stronger of the two teams in the last eight minutes with clinching points from Hannon and LeightonÓglynn, while Derek Daly had a goal chance at the end but blazed wide of Enda Lyons right hand post after taking a cross-field pass from Hannon.
scorers for Wicklow: T Hannon (0-8, 0-7f), L Glynn (0-3), S Furlong (0-2), C Walsh (0-2).
Leitrim: E Mulligan (0-6, 0-5f), N Doonan (0-2), C Regan (0-2), S Foley and M Foley (0-1 each).
Wicklow: M. Travers; C. Hyland, D. Power, A. Byrne; R. Nolan, D. O hAnnaidh, L. Glynn; J. Stafford, T. Walsh; J. McGrath, T. Hannon, P. Earls; C. Walsh, S. Furlong, D. Daly.
Leitrim: E. Lyons; D. Reynolds, G. Reynolds, A. OFlynn; D. Duignan, S. Foley, N. Doonan; M. Duignan, M. Foley; P. McGuinness, C. Regan, J. Glancy, D. Brennan, E. Mulligan, F McBrien.
Subs: F. McBrien for J. Glancy, G. McCloskey for C. Regan, C. Duignan for F. McBrien, D. OConnor for M. Foley.
Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford)
Antrim secured a return to Croke Park with a comprehensive 1-19 to 0-13 win over London in the Tommy Murphy Cup semi-final at a sunny Casement Park.
Despite missing some gilt-edged goal and point opportunities, Antrim still had nine points to spare over a disappointing Exiles side and will now face Mick ODwyers men next weekend in a repeat of last years decider.
Tommy Murphy Cup semi-final: Antrim 1-19 London 0-13
Wicklow won the second tier trophy with the last kick of the ball last year, and Antrim will now have the chance for revenge when the sides go into battle at HQ.
Antrim were never in danger, although they never really put the game away until the 44th minute when Kevin OBoyles unstoppable shot rippled the London net.
Although London never looked like staging a comeback, OBoyles major put nine between the teams and effectively ended the game as a contest.
The Saffrons could have been out of sight much earlier with Ciaran Close in particular missing a number of goal chances, although LondonÓgoalkeeper Evan Byrne saved superbly from the corner forward on 40 minutes.
London continued to battle and in Pauric Duffy they had a marksman of quality who ended the game on four points. They were lacking else where however and Antrim could Scórcely believe the room they had to manoeuvre up front, especially in the opening 20 minutes.
The visitors were lucky that Antrim had forgotten their shooting boots, hitting five wides before Kevin Brady notched the games opening point in the seventh minute.
London replied with a Chris Donnellan free before the Saffrons finally found their range to hit the next four scores.
Close accounted for three, although the Cargin man should have found the back of the net with his second after being worked in by Michael Magill and Brady. Stylish free-taker Michael McCann raised the other Antrim flag.
Donnellan closed the gap on 18 minutes with what was only Londons third attempt on the Antrim posts but when Martin Hughes added his sides third, the Exiles trailed by just two points 0-5 to 0-3.
Their revival was to be short-lived. Tony Scullion, McCann and Close extended the home lead to five points before Duffy stopped the rot. It was Duffy who added Londons fifth one minute before the break with a fine point from play, but in-between Magill and Close both raised white flags. Andy Hayes put London within four points with the last kick of the first half.
The second-half was just as pedestrian as the first – and just as predictable – although OBoyles goal gave the 300-strong crowd something to shout about. The half back jinked through the London rearguard, fed the ball to Brady, received the return and blasted to the net to make the score 1-13 to 0-7.
The gap grew to 11 points when Scullion fired over his second point on 54 minutes, although London, through Paul Geraghty and sub Peader Friel, closed the gap to single figures.
Two late Alan Raftery points did little to rouse the Exiles and Magill almost closed out the game with a goal, but as had been the story for Antrim all night, his shot sailed over.
Antrim scorers: C Close (0-7, 3f), M McCann (0-4f), K OBoyle (1-0), T Scullion (0-2), M Magill (0-2), J Crozier (0-1), K Brady (0-1), T McCann (0-1), C Murray (0-1)
London scorers: P Duffy (0-4), C Donnellan (0-3f), A Raftery (0-2), P Geraghty (0-1), M Hughes (0-1), A Hayes (0-1), P Friel (0-1)
Antrim: S McGreevy; C Brady, A McLean, P Conlon; T Scullion, J Crozier, K OBoyle; P Doherty, M McCarry; P Close, M McCann, B Hasson; M Magill, K Brady, C Close
Subs: T McCann for P Doherty, C Murray for K OBoyle, G Bell for M McCarry, M Rea for K Brady, C Totten for T Scullion
London: E Byrne; R Morgan, B Comer, G OHare; P McDermott, E Ó Cuiv, O Henry; P Geraghty, A Raftery; H Murphy, P Duffy, C Donnellan; S McGuire, M Hughes, A Hayes
Subs: P Hehir for H Murphy, P Friel for A Hayes, O Coffey for S McGuire
Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh)
26-Jul-08 by Setanta Sport